Hunting is just one of those topics that insights controversy in almost any discussion. Although despite polarizing views, as a society, we have generally become accepting of it when it comes to being conducted in a systems sustainability approach. But what is it about hunting that makes people just lose their composure or erupt in emotion? It’s probably our Empathy.
See, Empathy is something that is almost as important as any of our other senses, and as a person who is quite sensitive, I can quantify it as such. Feeling other people is something that extends far beyond than acknowledging ones presence. It allows us to communicate effectively. it allows us to coordinate and respect on a more mutually beneficial level.
Now when it comes to animals and plants, empathy is a powerful tool that can be used to help train, grow, care for, and be an effective stuart for that animal or plant, to allow that organism in turn to do its best for you. But without empathy, having even a smidgeon of a concern is something hard to muster. How often does one swat a fly or crush a bug, not to think anything of it? It is not the size of the animal or organism that defines its importance, but more so, how empathetic we can be towards living consciousness is defined by the arbitrary priority that we give it, and things that are smaller or seemingly less noticeable or understandably conscious, it is much easier for people to forgo empathy. Some people can turn empathy on and off like closing their eyes.
Now the alternative of having empathy for something or someone, and therefore losing the fulfilment associated with that relationship, is to take power over things. For ultimately, there are really only two ways we can handle any relationship, and in both ways, in every interaction we have, if interested, we mostly seek to derive some sort of satisfaction from it. The need to stimulate our human satisfaction is probably something thats related to self validation, allowing us to perceive an importance over where we fit into the social fabric of our society, and feel confident and strong about who we are. Generally, it is the fulfilment of our need to derive satisfaction that pushes us act to begin with, for if the need to derive satisfaction does not exist, the individual would not be prompted to act. This is a very Hobbesian ideology and I believe very applicable in this framework.
Anything committed by a human is not outside the realm of human possibility, and issues such as serial killing and hunting, really need to stop being treated as some sort of occult activity, misunderstood impulse, or taboo potential that falls outside the construct of our daily lives. What we need to look at more is the impulse to derive material satisfaction (greed) and what it is that stimulates these impulses.
There are different levels of association. On a bottom level, one has their own conscious and sub conscious. Then we have the family unit. Outside of that, extended family – group of friends – extended friends – Co-Workers – Company – City – Province – Country – Union – Planet – Galaxy – etc…. I’m sure you get the idea. Each level has compliance norms associated with it that everyone must abide by in order to be accepted by the unit. e.g. Do your laundry and conform to the house clean standards, home rules, work, laws, -> Each level because it has its own sets, super sets and sub sets of standards, each circle (for lack of a better word) contains a hierarchal power structure of the members of the unit, and I personally believe it is where we see we fit in – either consciously or subconsciously – that in part compels to pursue the type of actions we choose to commit. But the only problem, is in a system where achievements and contributions are constantly downplayed by whats coming next, what makes money, what is good for business now, rather than what is good for people as a whole and what is good for our entire race, the importance and fulfilment of the individual is also reduced as the human standard is to idolize the highest attainable idea – or our “god”, or rather, money.
I would be so bold at this point to accuse that killing which only exists for self pleasure is a result of a society that is inwardly driven and broadcasts continual messages of selfishness and self interest. I believe it is a bi product of capitalism, and the marketing and communication inside capitalism that results in a general deteriorated or non existent empathy. See, its pretty darn simple to put it into laymen terms and just blurt that its quite difficult to be empathetic in a society in which media and advertising are constantly promoting selfishness. But not the constructive kind of selfishness, the take advantage of other people kind.
Any person with half a brain and some sense of volumes and economics will come to realize that even though the world is an amazing place, our North American political system is ass backwards – serving an exclusive group of elites over the general public. And it is in this comprehension that creates what I call the duality of presentation. In our minds, we know one thing – but on the surface, due to the requirement norms of a social circle, we do what is expected of us for survival in the system rather than what we feel is right. So if we live in a society where are leaders are where they are as a result of suppression of other tiers of our society, than what we are intact doing is creating a model of apathy.
So when it comes to killers and hunters, I think what we are dealing with here are varying levels of application of dominance – an effective method of quantifying ones position in the survival chain, or the social pecking order. Fulfilling the need on either a personal, or external level – what ever is required.
A lot of drug addicts say all they ever wanted was to be loved. Could hunting, killing, and dominance over others be a type of forced love? By dominating another and having them fear death, we place them in the ultimate position of worship, and in that direct power structure, we become stimulated by having such control. I could imagine that this is not much different than making shit tons of money as a member of a major corporation, or being a celebrity arriving at a movie debut. Heck, even a professor making a presentation to an auditorium of students is even around the same lines for they all create the personal satisfaction we so desire.
As an artist, I can relate to the desire for validation. What I offer to the world comes in the form of the products I create with my skills, and the way people respond to it provides me the validation I seek. Although I need only little, it is important from time to time to keep going. Alternatively, money also says I did a good job. More money, even better job. They say the same thing really.
Now I choose to make art and music and write. but maybe, I chose them because to some extent, I am good at them. Well, I wasn’t always good, but learning them came relatively easy for me. I don’t even know, the whole spectrum of choosing the course of action for fulfilment is another topic altogether. The one thing I can say, is that the choices I made were presented to me from the higher level circles I am a part of – my family, and my society. Had I been born into a war torn country, with bombs going off beside my baby crib, you better believe I would be operating a mortar at age 5, brining home the heads of my enemies to hang by the dinner table each night after a long exhausting day of killing. But thankfully, I did not grow up this way. I grew up in Toronto Canada. A weird, but all around pretty cool place. its weird because I find a lot of people rarely make eye contact in public or in stores…. What I did see growing up were lots of cartoons, lots of information about the things I should and shouldn’t do with my young life, but the most overwhelming and intangible thing, was the behaviour of all the members of the society. You see, we live in a pyramid structure where less than 1% of the people on earth control 99% of the wealth – and this makes absolutely no sense from a sustainability or fairness or even structural perspective. In this type of society, to get ahead, we must exploit the labour of the parties below us, and what this continued and growing ideology has lead to is the current insane, unsustainable, directionless attitude our society struts on a daily basis. it must be hard to be really rich if one has to consider all the lives of the people that they have taken advantage of to get there, so in a way, our society is training us to have less empathy – especially the ones of us who want to get ahead. You see, even if you don’t see it in the streets of Detroit, as a result of living carelessly, our oceans, our resources, our land, and even our peace is all under constant capitalist bombardment pursuing a system that does not promote empathy for human life or for the environment.
So how is Walter Palmer, the hunter who shot Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe on July 1st, 2015, anything like a serial killer? The answer lies in the idea that Walter Palmer is not so much like a serial killer, as much as we are all like Walter Palmer, serial killers included. See, this man, is acting out his desires in attempt to fulfil his requirements for satisfaction. You would have events in this mans history associated with confidence, experience, and past fulfilment that have led to the choices he makes today. What we choose to do is a balance between what we want, and what we feel we can get away with without compromising our own life. Walter Palmer believes that hunting for sport is ok, but thats only because he is a member of a society which in part, does accept hunting. What we see in his violation of the protection laws is a situation where Mr. Palmer believed he could get away with poaching Cecil, and thus he knowing chose to violate laws (the duality of presentation) in favour of pursuing his own satisfaction. Had he known Cecil was wearing a collar, he probably wouldn’t have shot him because he wouldn’t have been able to get away with it.
And as Walter Palmer hides somewhere in Minnesota awaiting extradition to Zimbabwe to account for his crimes of pursuing his own satisfaction, I write this in the comfort of my basement, pursuing my own. And to my right, my television is playing the news of the day – sensationalizing all of the ridiculous events that should embarrass any reasonable political leader. See, a society is much like any other being. It is a living organism. Maybe not in the same sense that we understand life, but as an eco system that is dependant upon functioning parts, it very much is. The rise and fall of our society is the top down mechanism that instills in us our feeling of evolution and growth. Without the society as a mechanism to maintain our scientific, social, political, and agricultural achievements, man kind is nothing but a mass of disorganized individuals who are really only fighting for themselves. But thats the problem. We have a duality of presentation and thought where we all say one thing and do something else, where we overlook and disregard loss in favour of perceivable growth, and where we are ok with stepping on each others toes so long as it is done in a civil manor. As long as we have a society with leaders who create these examples and with people on all levels who excesses them, Walter Palmers will exist all over North America, as people like this are simply nothing more than a product of a sick, double standardizing society that has no real goal or honour for itself.
Let me say that again. We have no honour on a social level. And having no honour on a social level is one of the many reasons why Walter Palmers, Jeffrey Dahmers, Paul Bernardos, Osama Bin Ladens, and Timothy Mcveigh’s exist and have done what they have done – whether in their minds to correct or to satisfy or both, they have done what they have done because the act of killing – whether in mass or individually, whether humans or animals, to either send a message or to personally experience, is nothing more than a bi product of a self interested, highly competitive, and suppressing society – and the satisfaction we seek for personal stimulation is a sickness endowed within us by this society at a very young age. Some of us handle it better than others. Some of us become artists, some of us become politicians, and others become killers, because we all want to fit in, and we all want to be loved. Some of us don’t feel as loved, and thus we need to perform more extreme acts to obtain the same measure of fulfilment. But one thing is for sure. its really easy to not give a crap about anything if you can’t or won’t empathize with it.